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What is Modlogan?

Modlogan is a modular logfile analyzer whose output is viewable in a browser or text editor. Although the software's development has been discontinued, it is still quite popular among Linux Web servers as a statistics package.

To measure your website’s performance and effectiveness, some kind of Web analytics software or service is necessary. There are different ways to gather data on the visitors to your website, but the most accurate method is by analyzing your server’s Web logs.

Modlogan is software that analyzes your server’s Web logs and uses the data to generate analytics reports. Although the developer, Jan Kneschke, discontinued support for Modlogan after its final release in 2004, it remains one of the most popular options for Web analytics on Linux servers.

While a general Internet user won't have much need for a log file analyzer, webmasters and other site administrators might use one for efficiency and marketing purposes. Though third party client side analytics services such as Google Analytics have grown in popularity, many server administrators prefer the speed and accuracy of server-side analytics software such as Modlogan.

How Does Modlogan Work?

A log file analyzer, or Web log analyzer, is analytic software for parsing the log file of a Web server. Its function is to extract factors indicating who visits a Web server, and how and when they do it. The log file itself, an automatic creation of the server, typically records dates, times, page requests, codes, and bytes served rather than user-specific information.

The Modlogan logfile analyzer can parse File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Squid, and Web server logs. Modlogan is modular, and can be expanded with surrounding plugins that provide the various input, output, and processor modes. Modlogan can generate reports from 15 different input formats, and combine multiple input files from clustered servers. The output plugin offers three separate menu structures for the same output.

Modlogan Alternatives

Modlogan was discontinued in 2004 and is no longer being developed, so software updates and user support are not available. If the features of Modlogan appeal to you and you’re looking for server-side analytics software, you may want to consider looking at similar alternatives like Webalizer or AWStats.

Just like Modlogan, Webalizer analyzes your Web logs to generate reports on your website visitors. Webalizer is popular with system administrators for Linux servers, and is included pre-installed for free with many hosting plans. While Webalizer is known to be highly accurate in counting all your visitors, it does not differentiate between Web crawlers and real human visitors, so the number of visitors on Webalizer reports will usually be higher than on reports by most other software.

AWStats is another popular option for server side analytics that is included free with many hosting plans. Unlike Webalizer, AWStats attempts to differentiate between human and bot visitors to your website, so the reported traffic may be lower on an AWStats report.

Finding a Modlogan Hosting

Modlogan suggests looking to Pipe Ten as a host, as the company supports the logfile analyzer throughout its hosting plans, although several other providers also use the tool and include it pre-installed with their hosting plans.

Because Modlogan is technically discontinued, you may want to consider another Web log analyzer, especially if you're having trouble tracking down the version you'd prefer. If you do decide to stay with Modlogan, you'll want a host with good technical support, as Modlogan is no longer supported by its creator. Be sure to check with your hosting provider for details on whether your desired plan will support Modlogan.

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